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TROUBLESHOOTING: Repairs on at Vazhayila where a major pipeline carrying water to the city burst on Wednesday evening.
TROUBLESHOOTING: Repairs on at Vazhayila where a major pipeline carrying water to the city burst on Wednesday evening.

Staff Reporter

Proposal to replace 1.5-km stretch of pipeline

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Supply of drinking water to the city was restored on Thursday evening after repairs on a main pipeline that burst on Wednesday.

The concrete pipeline bringing water from Aruvikkara to the Kerala Water Authority’s (KWA) reservoir at Observatory Hill burst at Vazhayila on Wednesday. After the repair work, ‘gravity flow’ of water was initiated by 1.40 p.m. Pumping at full throttle began at 3.30 p.m. The supply of water to areas serviced by the Observatory hill reservoir would be restored by Friday morning, KWA engineers said.

The KWA, the district administration, City Corporation and the Fire and Rescue Services reached water in tankers to places that were affected by the disruption in water supply. District Collector Sanjay Kaul said 25 tankers, including 12 private tankers, were pressed into service on Thursday.

Tankers of the Fire and Rescue Services supplied water to hospitals.

The pipeline burst has once again highlighted the pressing need for a total replacement of the pre-stressed concrete line bringing water from the treatment plant at Chithirakunnu.

Kerala Water Authority engineers said at all locations where this line had burst, the cement coating on top of the concrete pipe had worn away exposing the iron mesh beneath.

Following repeated entreaties from its field engineers, the KWA has decided to include the ‘rehabilitation’ of a portion of this line in the water supply scheme being implemented with financial assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA, formerly JBIC). KWA managing director Susan Jacob told The Hindu that a proposal to replace a 1.5-km stretch of the line with mild steel pipes was under consideration.

“There are some places, including Vazhayila, where the state of the pipe is very bad. We have asked that mild steel pipes be laid at these locations. The scheme’s consultant has been asked to prepare a scheme for this,” she said.

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